Nanogen to Acquire SYN X Pharma and Enters Point-of-Care Diagnostics Market - News Item

Nanogen, Inc., developer of molecular diagnostic products for the gene-based testing market, and SYN X Pharma, Inc, a point-of-care diagnostics company, announced today the signing of a definitive agreement whereby Nanogen will acquire SYN X in an all-stock transaction by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement. The acquisition will provide Nanogen with a pipeline of complementary products in order to expand its market share in the in vitro diagnostics market and augments its technology platform for developing advanced diagnostic products.

SYN X is preparing to commercialize a diagnostic product for congestive heart failure (CHF). As announced in July of 2003, SYN X obtained a worldwide license to the CHF marker NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-hormone brain natriuretic peptide) from Roche Diagnostics to develop a test for the point-of-care market. SYN X's new Nexus Dx product will offer substantial improvements over other CHF diagnostics, including stability at room temperature and quicker results, and will enable health professionals to provide an enhanced level of care. SYN X will seek European regulatory clearance by mid-2004 and U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance in the second half of 2004. Analysts predict the BNP market will have above-average growth and will reach approximately US $300 million by 2005 as use increases internationally.

SYN X currently markets point-of-care diagnostic tests for myocardial infarction in Europe and Canada, and infectious diseases and drugs of abuse in Canada. In addition to the CHF product, SYN X has been developing a pipeline of tests to be marketed under the brand name Nexus Dx for insulin resistance and traumatic brain injury. SYN X also intends to expand the CHF product line and obtain clearance for additional label indications. In addition, SYN X has developed diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's disease and stroke, which, as previously announced, have been licensed to Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson Company) and Genzyme Corporation, respectively.

"The acquisition of SYN X supports Nanogen's long-term strategy to commercialize advanced diagnostics that enhance the level of medical care for the detection, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease," said Howard Birndorf, Nanogen chairman and chief executive officer. "Nanogen has an established position in clinical reference labs, and this acquisition allows us to expand into a synergistic market, bringing diagnostics closer to the patients and physicians making critical treatment decisions. Nanogen welcomes the SYN X team and we look forward to joining efforts to commercialize our combined pipeline of genetic, infectious disease and point-of-care products," added Birndorf.

Posted 10th February 2004

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